On St. Patrick’s Day this year, Abbey Donahue ‘25 and Martha Byrne ‘25 placed second in a field of fifteen at the Deloitte National Consulting Competition. They presented their recommendations for a fictional German clothing company interested in entering the American athleisure market onstage in front of a panel of Deloitte partners.
Two Economics majors who met in a Glynn Calculus B study group freshman year, Donahue and Byrne formed a team with two other students after the competition was announced. In February, they participated in a regional round on campus as one of twelve selected teams composed of freshmen and sophomores. Professors and professionals offered feedback that they took with them to the national round, held at Deloitte University in Dallas. They created a slide deck in five hours before advancing to the final round, where the team navigated a surprise twist to the case before placing second.
Both agreed that while the high-pressure environment was the most stressful part of the competition, it honed their skills in collaboration and communication. Donahue particularly loved seeing the diverse problem-solving methods each team approached the case with and Byrne appreciated how the experience helped her better understand what consulting is through opportunities to network with other students and Deloitte professionals. Donahue and Byrne were both surprised by how relevant their Glynn classes were to the presentation: Bryne’s humanities seminar with Professor Meserve taught her how to tell a compelling story in the presentation, and Donahue cites her experience in Professor Goodson’s Big History class.
“I found some parallels between Fermi problems and the models we created. Even though Big History is a science class and this was a consulting competition, the root of this case was problem-solving,” she said.
For other Glynn students also interested in pursuing a career in consulting, Byrne believes Arts & Letters majors have unique skills they can bring to the table.
“Non-business majors can hold their own against business majors,” she said. “Something Deloitte stressed was how they value people bringing their varying interests and expertise to the field.”